From CMF news - summer 2008 - In the public square [p1]
Yet despite us not being particularly proactive, virtually every day a national radio, television or newspaper journalist will phone for an opinion, a quote, or discussion about an upcoming programme. 'What does CMF think about the Trent Study on neonatal survival?' 'Do you have a psychiatrist who can comment on the mental health effects of abortion?' 'Salford Council has issued advance decision cards. Do Christian doctors think they are a good idea?' 'Should the husband of Debbie Purdy be granted immunity from prosecution if he helps her kill herself?'
In May alone, Andrew Fergusson and I did 37 national and regional radio and television interviews on all the major channels: BBC, ITV, SKY, Radios Four and Five Live, and a host of BBC regional stations. And CMF was quoted regularly in the Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Daily Mail and even the Sun! And these were just the calls fielded centrally. Many others were passed on to members around the country, trained and willing to speak out on issues that concerned them.
Many of these calls centred on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill: abortion limits, animal-human hybrids, saviour siblings and embryo research. But there were others on breast cancer trends, alcohol statistics, informed consent, and alternative medicine; anything and everything conceivable at the interface of Christianity and medicine.
CMF is increasingly seen as the voice on such matters. The media come to us to via the website, by picking up quotes elsewhere, by word of mouth, or because they have spoken to us before. And our location in the heart of London means we can usually respond quickly – our new headquarters is just a short tube or taxi ride from all the major London studios.
Much happens behind the scenes, through strategic work with MPs, Peers, church leaders, pro-life groups and leaders of Christian and other organisations who share our perspective on a specific issue. We write submissions, provide research material, help draft speeches and generally try to be salt and light in a world increasingly hostile to Christian values.
We have built strongly on key partnerships with like-minded organisations, and through alliances like 'Care Not Killing' or 'Alive and Kicking' we work with over 50 other organisations to make our voice heard. Being in the public square carries an awesome responsibility. In representing you we work hard to ensure that our views are biblically sound and evidence based, but also expressed in language and in a way that connects with ordinary people.
We hugely value your feedback, encouragement and prayers. And we know that nothing would be achieved without God's grace and enabling, as we rely on the Holy Spirit's guidance to help us find the right words to say in the right way, often in the heat of the moment.
We face formidable opponents and will not win every battle; the passage of the HFE Bill virtually unamended has been disappointing although not surprising. However, by God's grace we pray that, regardless of what new threats the future may hold, as a Fellowship we may remain faithful in 'speaking the truth in love' to our generation. Please keep praying with us and please keep those emails, phone calls and letters coming.
'No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,' declares the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17)